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TESTOSTERONE ANADOIL FOR SALE

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81 Responses to “TESTOSTERONE ANADOIL FOR SALE”

  1. Howie Says:

    It’s people like every socialist leader that has ever existed that gives socialism a bad name.

  2. DJ Slim Says:

    I, on the other hand, venture to believe that Mssrs. Marx and Engels had a rather different species in mind when they were theorizing about a post-capitalist world and who might lead it.

    Why don’t you leave what Marx and Engels intended to those who are committed Marxists. You’re better off invoking Jay Lovestone and Irving Howe.

  3. Woody Says:

    Marc: Socialism should mean more democracy, not less. More transparency, not less. More distribution of power, not centralization in the hands of an ego-maniac….

    Are we talking about Chavez or Obama?

    - – -

    To bring back a quote from another thread…Chavez warned his opponents — whom he calls “sore losers” — to respect the results. “Any attempt to take us down the path of violence, by failing to recognize the results of the people’s will, will be neutralized,” he proclaimed.

    Typical socialist dictator, which Chavez really is, despite Jimmy Carter saying that his past election was fair.

    I wish Ronald Reagan were here to deal with Chavez. In the meantime, Obama has already started gutting our military.

    How’s that multi-billion dollar arms deal going between Chavez and the Russians? How do we counter that or handle our security in this hemisphere with this new Castro rising to replace the dying one?

    To quote Obama regarding the economic stimulus, “Some people want to do nothing.” On our national security and human rights in South America, are we going to do nothing?

  4. Howie Says:

    Marc: Socialism should mean more democracy, not less. More transparency, not less. More distribution of power, not centralization in the hands of an ego-maniac…

    Are we talking about Chavez or George W. Bush?

  5. jcummings Says:

    I haven’t posted or read this blog in months, but as soon as I heard the news I galloped over, and was not disapointed.

    Perhaps Marc would like to dissolve the Venezuelan people and elect…..

  6. Randy Paul Says:

    At a state dinner, the Bolivian President introduces his Chilean counterpart to Senor so-and-so, Secretary of the Bolivian Navy. Feeling slightly mocked by the leader of the landlocked nation, Pinochet raises his eyebrow and says “You have a Minister of the Navy?”

    The Bolivian President doesn’t bat an eyelash and responds, “What’s the problem? After all, you have a Minister of Justice.”

    About 18 months ago I went to see President Evo Morales of Bolivia speak at Cooper Union. The entire time he spoke there was a member of Bolivia’s Navy in dress whites on the stage behind him. Still wondering what type of message he was sending.

    Jcummings: is Chavez going to live forever? If not, why does he act as if his goals will die with him if they are worthy goals? Or is it all just the cult of personality.

    Say what one will, the Monroe Doctrine is dead.

  7. Randy Paul Says:

    I might also add that Chávez’s single greatest ally is the incredibly feckless, inept, useless, incompetent opposition. They should learn first to find their ass with both hands.

  8. jeffry house Says:

    Marc is right that socialism involves an attempt to address both inequalities of resources and inequalities of communicative power.

    Chavez has done some good work in redistributing state resources to a broader constituency than has ever benifitted before in Venezuela, but there is a huge democratic deficit which he has retained and even deepened.

    There is no discussion of policy alternatives in Venezuela. There is just Chavez, telling everyone what to do. Street celebrations in support of his policies are not the same as democratic input.

  9. Rob Grocholski Says:

    Socialism or Death alright.
    Murder rate in Caracas: 130 per 100,000 people.
    Probably not fit for official celebration in the maestro’s program.

    http://www.jewcy.com/post/how_venezuelans_are_killed#

  10. Luciano Cuadra Says:

    Ditto…I have always believed that the reality check for Mr. Chavez will come from the armed forces.

    Just because he praises their “service to the nation” every time he has a chance to, doesn’t really cut it.

    Besides the rampant corruption and widespread dissatisfaction among the population, stands the presence of thousands of Cuban military advisors which is not well received by the Venezuelan soldiers.

  11. Rob Polhemus Says:

    Remember that the United States supported an undemocratic coup which very nearly succeeded and would have wiped out the results of the democratic, fair election of Chavez. Also right-wingers, like Pat Robertson have prayed and hoped that God would make Chavez dead (check it out). Those patriotic Americans who support democratic ideals ought to worry, work, and protest against our own beloved country’s antidemocratic actions. It’s hypocritical and/or silly to go after Chavez for having elections and trying to help the poor majority of his country even if he makes mistakes. The blogger Marc and his supporters here show bad faith here because Marc, and everyone else, knows as well as the sun rises and sets that no American needs to fear or does fear that Chavez will overthrow the duly elected government of the United States, but Chavez and millions of Venezuelans have to and do fear that the US, under right-wing pressure, will seek to overthrow the democratically elected Chavez and see him assassinated. Talk about blaming the victim, because the victim isn’t perfect! Do you Chavez haters think democracy will be better served by turning Venezuela over to Cheney’s Halliburton Oil?

  12. Rob Grocholski Says:

    Rob P -
    Dude, you’re making an argument of convenience. It’s precisely because Venezuelans have democratic institutions to work with that Randy’s comment @ 10:22am is so poignant.

  13. Anne Gilbert Says:

    This guy isn’t a socialist, whatever he calls himself, or whatever he thinks he is.
    Anne G

  14. Aimee Kligman Says:

    You may not know this, but I received this from my contacts in Caracas
    http://www.examiner.com/x-2086-NY-Foreign-Policy-Examiner~y2009m2d16-Breaking-News-Venezuela-How-the-no-became-a-si

  15. Woody Says:

    If the Monroe Doctrine is dead (as today’s liberals proclaim with glee), then it’s time to bring it back to life.

    NEW YORK TIMES: So long as the U.S. has the power to enforce it, the Monroe Doctrine will be alive and kicking.

  16. gregor preston Says:

    People like Cooper think capitalism can be reformed–and he’s the one that will lead the reformation in the USA, He may even pretend to be a “socialist” just like the Labor Party in Great Britain does–but whenever he sees a real, living and breathing socialist that is fighting US imperialism in the real world, Cooper is horrified and always lines up in support of the anti-socialist forces, i.e., the USA, as they work to overthrow the Castros and Chavezes of the world.

  17. janet dollacker Says:

    As a person who lived in Caracas for 10 years or so, who speaks Spanish fluently and whose children were born there let me say it clearly: YOU do not know what you’re talking about. I am so sick of people who have no understanding of a nations culture or their history or their national differences than ours passing judgements that have more to do with who they are than who the person or government they are writing about is.
    Chavez is in fact a Populist, ” of the people, by the people and for the people” regardless of what labels you he or they choose to encumber him with. It would be too long and too much work to clue you in to Venezuelas history and culture but let me just say this: 1. He is the first president ever with the possible exception of the benevolent ( real ) dictator Perez Jimenez who cared one whit about the 80% of his country who are poor ( the poor loved Jimenez because there was always work from roads that ran nowhere etc. ) 2. He has brought the literacy rate from one of the worst in the world to what is probably the highest in the world through community action work that involved women;98% 3.He has taken this country from a land where the poor had not seen a doctor for 10 generations and went to pharmacists for medical diagnosis and pills, to a land where by being good neighbors with their neighbor Cuba, exchanging cheap oil for hundreds of free well trained doctors clinics have been set up in slums that have never seen them,Venezuelan medicos and nurses have been trained to run them and unlike US, every Venezuelan can see a doctor when ill.
    4. He created what is probably the smartest way out of continuous generations of long slum dwelling poverty for numerous youths ever by creating a CLASSICAL musical training program for shack dwelling kids, gave them a musical instrument and rigorous training for free, an excellent classical musician with the facilities to train them and these kids who would have been beggars or worse needed no more incentive for a totally new world and they are now acclaimed the world over.
    ( This would not have had the generational changing effects for example had it been rap, hiphop or rock. They are wined and dined with kings and heads of state creating a totally new vision of themselves and of life possibilities ) It just goes to show what can be accomplished where there is the WILL to do it. Chavez did not nationalize the oil, that had been done years before but it had been taken over by profiteers who ran it with no respect for the fact that this was a national resource that should have been benefiting the people of their own country… which it was not. ALSO Chavez has repeatedly said he does not hate America or Americans( he hated the Bush regime which were caught with their pants down incidentally, trying to depose him, against the will of his people)….IN FACT he offered and delivered very cheap heating oil to poor Americans in the East and had 6 big ships ready to go within 12 hours loaded with heavy equipment, food and water for New Orleans immediately the catastrophe hit, while Bush was still playing the guitar as New Orleans drowned. BUSH REJECTED THEM. So who would you say cared more about America, out own government or the one they have so demonized, Hugo Chavez!!! Just stop with your ignorant labelling. IDEOLOGUES of all sides are precisely who are causing the wars and the problems…especially the ones ignorant of the history and the culture they so blithely write about and advise others about. Obama is right to deliberate when the Pentagon tells him what they Need…..in politics follow the money. However Chavez, like Obama is not money driven so much as Vision driven. GET OFF CHAVEZ BACK AND HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!!!!!!!!!! They are doing a better job that we are!

  18. Randy Paul Says:

    As Marc is someone who has lived through an example of the US supporting a military coup against a democratically elected government, I’m sure that he would agree that the role of the US is not to overthrow Hugo Chavez.

    Whether the US likes it or not Venezuela is a sovereign country. We have no authority: legal,moral or otherwise to interfere with the government there. The US is a signatory to the Inter-American Democratic Charter and is bound to respect the established democratically elected governments in the Americas.

    He created what is probably the smartest way out of continuous generations of long slum dwelling poverty for numerous youths ever by creating a CLASSICAL musical training program for shack dwelling kids, gave them a musical instrument and rigorous training for free, an excellent classical musician with the facilities to train them and these kids who would have been beggars or worse needed no more incentive for a totally new world and they are now acclaimed the world over.

    No he didn’t. El Sistema was created by José Antonio Abreu, who founded Social Action for Music in 1975 around the time Chavez was graduating from the military academy. Next you’ll be saying he cured AIDS.

  19. hectorpal Says:

    Hi, I’m a 100% venezuelan who actually grew up there, and lived in a tiny poor town, going to public school and such. Trust me. This is still very hard to understand.

    I one of those socialist in opossition to Chavez, mostly because I can’t stand the accumulation of power. I’ve seen it in real life.

    Chavez is not going to receive any new coups. He may be defeat in a normal election when trying to survive low oil prices.

    And yes, Chavez didn’t create El Sistema. In my town there was an small orchestra before El Sistema: very unlikely. I still don’t know of any other town this size that had one. That orchestra was later associated with El Sistema. I was 10, I guess when El Sistema arrived my town. I’m now 33. I never learnt to play, but some others did!

    That’s just complicate. Don’t trust that much your own opinions.

    cheers

  20. Jonathan Brostrom Says:

    Randy Paul’s cynical comment “you’ll be saying he cured AIDS” is typical of the propaganda tinged attacks on the Chavez administration. Certainly not a cure, but “the national government currently treats 25 thousand infected citizens by supplying them with anti-retroviral drugs through the Autonomous Pharmalogical Service (Sefar)” – source: The Embassy of Venezuela. Even if one claims that this number is inflated, there is no doubt that Venezuela distributes free drugs, and that the Chavez administration expanded the program of free access

    As for classical music training, while Senor Abreu founded the orchestra, “the administration of current president Hugo Chávez funds most of its $29 million annual budget.” (Ami Albernaz – Christian Science Monitor)

    What was the budget under the previous system? Senor Abreu’s initiative, which did begin in 1975, never had the kind of budget or support that it has now. There is virtually no program for the arts so large or so wide-ranging in the world today.

    “(Chavez) announced the creation of “Misión Música”, a government-funded effort to give tuition and instruments to 1 million impoverished children.” Rory Carroll – The Guardian. It is this mission to which Janet Dollacker refers, and not to the model on which the mission was based, Senor Abreu’s – which provided the inspiration for Presidente Chavez’s vast expansion of the program, providing instruments and musical education on a scale previously impossible.

    The increasing success of Misión Música and the prominence given to it in Venezuelan society by Hugo Chavez is one among many reasons for the electoral triumph of February 15.

  21. Randy Paul Says:

    Randy Paul’s cynical comment “you’ll be saying he cured AIDS” is typical of the propaganda tinged attacks on the Chavez administration.

    And Janet Dollacker’s comment was typical of the hyperbolic comments made about Chávez by his supporters.

    Read the comment that preceded yours.

  22. Joe in Ohio Says:

    A Venezuelan friend of mine reports that several people in her family voting against Chavez on electronic voting machines had their votes come up as “yes” anyway. Complaints to voting officials were ignored.

    This wouldn’t be the first time Chavez has been accused of voting fraud.

  23. passing through Says:

    Don’t trust that much your own opinions.

    Excellent advice.

    And Janet Dollacker’s comment was typical of the hyperbolic comments made about Chávez by his supporters.

    Janet’s comment was inaccurate, not hyperbolic — Chavez didn’t originate the program, but he did greatly enlarge it. OTOH, your statement above is hyperbolic, ad hominem, and hypocritical.

  24. passing through Says:

    @Joe in Ohio

    How ironic.

    This wouldn’t be the first time Chavez has been accused of voting fraud.

    It’s easy to make accusations. There were plenty of examples of similar “switched votes” here in the November election, and of course the Republicans were accused of rigging the machines, but actually they are largely due to touch screen calibration errors.

  25. passing through Says:

    Evil slug: “To bring back a quote from another thread …”

    Ah, that would be the one where you said that the poor of Venezuela — and all Obama supporters — are leeches.

  26. MarkC Says:

    http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080301faessay87205/francisco-rodriguez/an-empty-revolution.html

    A useful counterpoint to the allegedly factual arguments in support of Chavez.

  27. passing through Says:

    P.S. Joe in Ohio: remember this?

    “We need to know the full extent of Senator Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” — John McCain, in his final debate with Barack Obama

    So much for accusations.

  28. passing through Says:

    Rodriguez has been grinding that axe for several years. Here’s a rare piece that gives more balance:
    http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080701faresponse87414/bernardo-alvarez-herrera-francisco-rodriguez/revolutionary-road.html

  29. Marc Cooper Says:

    This is always so much fun. The Chavez apologists and defenders able ape the Big Man. Anyone who departs from the chorus of official praise is pro-capitalist, enjoys suffering, supports exploitation, is a front for the CIA, is brainwashed by Washington yada yada yada. Why not just cut through the BS and adopt GW Bush’s line: Either you’re for us or against us. Or in this case, either you for Hugo Chavez or you are a reactionary slug.

    I think the comparisons to FDR are fabulous. Indeed, the guy’s popularity (and the unwillingness to change ponies in the middle of WWII) made his re-election three times a reality. But here’s the wonderful part. AFTER the positive experience the nation had with FDR, we still very very wisely decided to a two term limit. The logic there was precisely that we lucked out with FDR and that in spite of his benevolent rule, it was just a plan bad idea that we open the door to a future populist demagogue who wold hog power.

    I’m not going to respond to the jibber jabber from the true believers because, in the end, that’s why they are: Marxist-Schmarixts, these are in fact quasi religious followers in desperate need of Hero Worship.

    Anyone with a lick of sense knows immediately it’s a bad idea to concentrate power in ANYBODY’S hands for any extended period. And if you are indeed a marxist, or a socialist, why on earth would you defend a “revolution” that trusts only one man to hold power. It’s patently ridiculous.

    Also, sorry to disappoint. I opposed the coup attempt of 2002 and wrote about it at the time clearly denouncing the US role. But that is no justification for Chavez’ usurpation of power. Worse news: Bush is gone. And Obama is NOT going to overthrow Chavez — as much as some of you would like to have a failed attempt as one more excuse to keep this blowhard in power for another 25 years.

    Pobre Venezuela.

  30. theOlsonfive - Marc Cooper » Blog Archive » Chavez Wins: “Socialism” Or Death! Says:

    [...] http://marccooper.com/chavez-wins-socialism-or-deat [...]

  31. Randy Paul Says:

    Janet’s comment was inaccurate, not hyperbolic — Chavez didn’t originate the program, but he did greatly enlarge it. OTOH, your statement above is hyperbolic, ad hominem, and hypocritical.

    Oh please. Nothing hypocritical nor ad hominem about my comment. She was attributing something to Chávez that he didn’t do. I engaged in a little hyperbole with my second comment.

    As for “greatly enlarg[ing]” it, how about you come up with some numbers. Prior to Chávez’s involvement, there were more than 100 youth orchestras in the country with more than 250,000 children receiving the benefits of El Sistema. The Simon Bolivar Orchestra had already toured the world several times.

    The one question that none of the Chavistas seem to ask is, if the institutions are established, why does it have to be him? What will happen to these changes in Venezuela when he dies? Do you think he’s immortal?

  32. DJ Slim Says:

    Anyone with a lick of sense knows immediately it’s a bad idea to concentrate power in ANYBODY’S hands for any extended period.

    Yeah, but nobody has read any rants here about Chile, which also lacks term limits. It is obvious that your problem is not with term limits but with Chavez, over whom you would obviously prefer some Venezuelan version of Pinochet.

  33. Randy Paul Says:

    Immediate reëlection is prohibited under law in Chile. In other words, no one can serve two consecutive terms.

  34. DJ Slim Says:

    Immediate reëlection is prohibited under law in Chile.

    Whatever. Great Britain and India also lack term limits but are considered democratic countries (at least in the mainstream media that Cooper reflects.)

  35. Randy Paul Says:

    And if Venezuela and Chile were using the Westminster System of parliamentary democracy, your comparison might be on point.

  36. DJ Slim Says:

    And if Venezuela and Chile were using the Westminster System of parliamentary democracy, your comparison might be on point.

    And I am not surprised by your embrace of the British parliamentary system either.

  37. Randy Paul Says:

    Where did I embrace it? I did no such thing. You actually brought it up.

    The point is that in the UK and India (as well as Canada and Australia and several other former UK colonies), people elect their representatives and the leader of the largest party is chosen to be the head of government.

    Accordingly, your comparison, as usual is bogus.

  38. Marc Cooper Says:

    Ur arguing with a priest Randy.

  39. DJ Slim Says:

    Where did I embrace it?

    Okay, you didn’t embrace it. Who cares. The point is that term limits in and of themselves prove nothing. The U.S. was a democracy before the 22nd amendment was passed. Republicans in Congress pushed for the amendment for the same reason that the anti-Chavez opposition voted to keep term limits. They both hate poor people. FDR was called a dictator by the Republicans just the way that Chavez is today. At least Cooper is consistent. Both FDR and Chavez raise the hackles on his back.

  40. Randy Paul Says:

    Marc,

    Most priests I’ve argued with have far more intelligence and far more open minds.

  41. av2ts Says:

    Here’s a partial list of the countries that do not emply term limits: India, Japan, Singapore, Austria & Germany(Chancellors), Iceland, Italy, UK, Australia, Canada, Guyana, Suriname… and of course the US for Vice Presidents, Congressmen and Senators.

    Term limits are concept elites love because they are aimed primarily at limiting the potential for radical change to the system they constructed. Limits are anti-democratic to the core, by expressly limiting the choice a citizen has. Yes, in cases where money runs politics (like the US), term limits are sometimes effective. But Venezuela has never had a comparable problem with incumbency.

    In an ideal world force of personality would perhaps not matter as much and a replacement could be found. But we know personalities and force of will do matter. Plenty of so-called socialists have buckled under pressure and caved to the capitalists. Plenty of socialists have failed to connect with the people, particularly the poor. The US perfectly understands the danger of one forceful, effective individual – hence the hundreds of attempts on Fidel Castro’s life and the 2002 Venezuelan coup.

    Chavez is far from perfect but no one can argue he has been effective and done what he said he was going to do. Extreme poverty has fallen by 72%. This does not even count the amazing gains in access to health care, education, subsidized food, job-training, etc. Since the Government got control of PDVSA in 2003, the GDP has increased 13% a year – nearly doubling in 5 years. Despite the opposition narrative that it was all oil based, in fact most growth is in the non-oil private sector. The amount of people in higher-education has doubled under Chavez. On and on. Who can blame the Venezuelan people for wanting to assure this continues, and not play around with the unknown?

  42. Randy Paul Says:

    Chavez is far from perfect but no one can argue he has been effective and done what he said he was going to do.

    Anyone can argue whatever they wish, but I note that you elide such issues as inflation, public safety and the currency controls.

    In any event, the one question that none of the Chavistas have bothered with is this: will Hugo Chavez die someday? If so, who is his likely successor in the party?

  43. av2ts Says:

    Anyone can argue whatever they wish, but I note that you elide such issues as inflation, public safety and the currency controls.

    Inflation is lower than it has even been in Venezuela, though still too high last year. But inflation is really only a real problem when incomes are stagnating, which they certainly have not.

    Public safety is a real concern, which Chavez pledged to make his #1 concern in his victory speech. The rise of Colombian-connected drug gangs are the reason for the increase (which is in turn related to US funded Plan Colombia).

    Currency controls have been found to be necessary and very useful in places prone to market panic and irrationality around the world – Malaysia, Thailand, Argentina, etc. Even the IMF has admitted as much (only AFTER the fact of course). Some devaluation is likely forthcoming in Venezuela however, given the price of oil. Still Venezuela is better prepared for the economic crisis than nearly anyone else in the region (more reserves, less dependency on the US, etc.)

  44. Randy Paul Says:

    But inflation is really only a real problem when incomes are stagnating, which they certainly have not.

    Or when the price of your number one export declines and your economy is, frankly not that diverse.

    Inflation is lower than it has even been in Venezuela, though still too high last year

    Poppycock. It was just above 10% in 2001. It’s running around 30% now.

    It also has a spiraling effect if it is not controlled. As for the region, the smart money is on Brazil, not Venezuela in terms of preparing for the crisis.

  45. DJ Slim Says:

    As for the region, the smart money is on Brazil, not Venezuela in terms of preparing for the crisis.

    Yes, you really seem to exemplify “smart money” thinking.

  46. reg Says:

    “IDEOLOGUES of all sides are precisely who are causing the wars and the problems…”

    That’s kind of a nice generic sentiment, although not universally true – or at least not always “equally” true – but I find it hard to square that notion with a defense of Chavez, who blathers about “revolution” and “socialism.” What a crock. He’s a paternalistic demagogue with a populist social program. These types are not the worst guys on the planet IMHO and are often responsible for social welfare reforms that might not otherwise have been enacted. But to look on Chavez as some ideal type, a “revolutionary” or a “socialist” (utterly archaic paradigm in the contemporary political landscape, incidentally) is kind of childish and pathetic. That said, I trust empirical stuff like the CEPR report on “av2ts” blog. I also find it hard to see any contradiction between recognizing that Chavez is something of a buffoon, an obviously egomaniacal demagogue, and a consummate opportunist – and that ending term limits in Venezuela is a signal of his lack of confidence in his purported social movement and in the people of Venezuela – with a recognition that the oil bonanza has provided Chavez an opportunity to do some significant good. The question is can a reasonably progressive populist agenda outlast the cult of Chavez personality. If it can’t the entire project is bullshit – and Chavez strikes me as sufficiently infantile and narcissistic not to really give a shit beyond his own will to power.

    I’m not particularly obsessed with Chavez – I don’t think he’s very important precisely because his “model” is based on an oil boom – sort of like the Cuban “model” that was based on free money from the Soviets. Or perhaps more to the point, Sarah Palin’s Alaskan Miracle, which provides Californians with not one whit of data as to how to deal with our current budget crisis. With Obama in office, Chavez can pretty much dig his own grave or follow his own dream. If some bits and pieces of his alleged “revolution” succeed, fine. Hopefully Venezuelans will have it together to force him into the shadows and move on with someone more fine-tuned to a broader reality at some point in the not too distant future. I’m much more interested in what, say, Lula does in the current context.

  47. Randy Paul Says:

    Yes, you really seem to exemplify “smart money” thinking.

    Please let me know if that’s supposed to be an insult.

    I’m thinking it’s more reminiscient of Shakespeare than anything else.

  48. av2ts Says:

    Randy, I meant that average inflation under Chavez is below the historical average. Inflation averaged closer to 50% (and topped 100%) in the 1990s. Chavez’s inflation is the result of a huge increase in the puchasing power of Venezuelans – not a bad thing.

    There is no point in arguing about the economic fortunes of Brazil vs Venezuela. Time will tell. What we do know is that Brazil’s growth was largely anemic during the last 5 “boom” years (maybe 20-25%), while Venezuela’s went trough the roof (95%). And again, Venezuela’s growth was concentrated in non-oil, private sectors. It is also worth noting this sidebar from CEPR:

    It is common to attribute all of this to high oil prices, but oil prices increased faster and reached even higher levels in the 1970s — and Venezuela’s per capita income actually fell during that decade. In fact, from 1970-1998, Venezuela suffered one of the worst declines in per capita income in the world: It actually fell by 35 percent.

    Lula was finally starting to invest in a Government led pro-growth strategy during the last year, but it was too little too late. I was huge on Lula, but he unfortunately has little to show – except a decent welfare hand-out program, an overheated real estate market and increasing global clout in trade deals. Lula made a decent dent in poverty by handing out direct payments to the poor. However, this is not at all sustainable development.

  49. Brian Says:

    Hi! I read this over on HuffPost and I just wanted to let you know that you’re even more ignorant than you are glib, and that’s pretty ignorant. A democratic, hard-left response to a hundred years of oligarchic exploitation deserves a little more gravity than you seem able to provide.

  50. Randy Paul Says:

    I would put more faith in a nation that has a diverse export strategy like Brazil than Venezuelas. Time will tel and i believe that Lula will be proven right.

    Still the unasnwered questions: will Hugo Chavez die someday? If so, who is his likely successor in the party?

  51. av2ts Says:

    Randy, I could give you plenty of names of potential Chavez sucessors, but as he basically announced his candidancy for 2012 I don’t think it is worth speculating about 2018. Do you? It does not make much sense to groom a sucessor (at least) 10 years out, does it?

  52. DanO Says:

    A democratic, hard-left

    We have a definition problem, one that continually bedevils the hard left. “Democratic hard-left” is more appropriately labeled as border line autocratic in this case.

    Anything probably looks better than a giant pile of shit (oligarchy), but that doesn’t mean that it is not itself a medium sized pile of shit (cult-of-personality, power aggrandizement).

    Progress is preferred over utopian perfection for sure, but the comparison model of politics shouldn’t preclude us from demanding that certain minimal principles are followed. Brian seems to have fallen into the trap of believing that better is inherently and satisfyingly good which doesn’t follow.

  53. Brian Says:

    “We have a definition problem, one that continually bedevils the hard left. “Democratic hard-left” is more appropriately labeled as border line autocratic in this case.”

    I think you took my post to be an endorsement of events in Venezuala, rather than a description. I intended to describe the reality of Venezuala: the democratic endorsement of a political stance which, while perhaps well-intending, isn’t really that friendly to democratic institutions (e.g. “border line autocratic”). I assumed that most readers would understand that, and have a knowledge of the history (i.e. regimes) related to the term. I’m not (just) calling Cooper out because I think he’s a little too hard on Hugo; I also think that he treats the complicated, intense, and morally gray reality, of responding to centuries of expoitation and injustice with an approach that could very well bring about its own catastrophes, like it’s a Hollywood romance between two mediocre actors. Not really a snickers-and-guffaws topic, is it? Very Ugly American.

    As for the other stuff, you must know someone else named Brian, who spouts a lot of theoretical BS.

  54. DJ Slim Says:

    I have to laugh at Cooper and Randy Paul getting their balls in an uproar over getting rid of term limits in Venezuela when you have so many bourgeois politicians in the US succeeding family members. Who knows, Jeb Bush might succeed Obama. And that’s not to speak of the Kennedy infestation. Of course, these people set up dynasties based on enormous wealth, something that understandably does not bother our 2 liberals. They are all for political democracy but economic democracy? No way…

  55. Randy Paul Says:

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  56. Randy Paul Says:

    Randy, I could give you plenty of names of potential Chavez sucessors

    You got nothing except a defense of the cult of personality and a piss-poor one at that.

  57. Marc Cooper Says:

    Why would Chavez groom a successor? His view is simple: Socialism Until (My) Death.

  58. Marc Cooper Says:

    Randy,
    AV2TS (A View to the South) is IN FACT someone obsessed with Chavez. Fantastic that he spends so much time here posting so many refutations of criticism of Chavez. As I said before, if he isnt paid to do this he ought to be!

    I’m sure he isn’t. No need. Fulfilling his needs of hero worship and fantasies of revolution that real life Venezuelans — and not he– have to live out are more than enough compensation.

    This is like tapping into some weird subculture. Actually it IS a weird subculture!

    Perhaps I should bill the Venezuelan Embassy for use of my bandwidth by this guy?

  59. Brian Says:

    “Why would Chavez groom a successor? His view is simple: Socialism Until (My) Death.”

    Sickening shallow. Chavez didn’t come up with the current economic policies – a bunch of left-wing wonks and bureaucrats did that. Chavez isn’t solely responsible for Venezuala’s foreign policy – a bunch of other left-wing wonks, some of whom are unpleasantly sympathetic to FARC, do that. Chavez is a figurehead, not an autocrat. Chavez’ argument that as he goes, so goes social justice in Venezuala, may or may not be true – I don’t know how healthy the anti-Chavez left is in Venezula, or if it’s even real (it may have been coopted by the former oligarchs), and it’s obvious from Cooper’s nonsense that he knows much less.

    The point is, Venezuala is a vibrant, complex, tense reality right now, with serious implications for the rest of the world – you know, where there’s oppressive oligarchies that affect hundreds of millions of people, and responses to those oligarchies, which also affect hundreds of millions of people – and Cooper just seems to want to get a grin with Banana Republic jokes.

    As far as facts and historical understanding go, well, the above quote wouldn’t look out of place on Rush’s site, would it?

  60. Randy Paul Says:

    The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, hardly an establishment tool, shares my concerns.

  61. DJ Slim Says:

    Yes, I thought that the observation in the COHA article that Chavez was influenced by Nietzsche and Hegel most telling. Everybody who has ever heard a Chavez speech will be reminded immediately of this:

    “In Wagner’s case the first thing we notice is an hallucination, not of tones, but of attitudes. Only after he has the latter does he begin to seek the semiotics of tone for them.”

    and this:

    “Being, pure being, without any further determination. In its indeterminate immediacy it is equal only to itself. It is also not unequal relatively to an other; it has no diversity within itself nor any with a reference outwards.”

  62. av2ts Says:

    The COHA piece is riddled with errors (as Gregory Wilpert’s 20 point response shows) and they are not nearly as convinced about the anti-democratic nature of the term limit as you are Randy.

    Trying to locate a successor to Chavez 10 years down the road simply misses the point. Why force the people to choose someone new, when they are quite obviously satisfied with what they have – 64% voted for Chavez in the last Presidential election in 2006. If or when Chavez is no longer doing the job, there will be other candidates. To ask Chavez to manufacture opposition to himself at this point is more than a little absurd.

  63. Randy Paul Says:

    Sorry, but I don’t buy Wilpert’s defense any more than I buy his flawed criticism of HRW’s report.

    about the anti-democratic nature of the term limit as you are Randy.

    Please show me where I used the word “anti-democratic”

  64. av2ts Says:

    Fair enough Randy, but I think your skeptical questions and use of “cult of personality” descriptors indicates that you think Chavez’s Government is heading down the path of being anti-democratc.

    As for the “smart money,” they are being told to get their hynies out of Brazil right now. Brazil’s stocks are overvalued and will “capitulate” soon Citigroup’s smart money folks say.

  65. passing through Says:

    This is always so much fun. …

    blow

    hard

  66. passing through Says:

    Nothing hypocritical nor ad hominem about my comment.

    A transparent lie.

  67. Marc Cooper Says:

    Randy.. Ive got to hand it to you…. your tenacity in debating religious zealots is impressive. I held my nose and took a look at AV2TS’ screamingly propagandistic website. http://aviewtothesouth.blogspot.com/

    Hey, it’s worth a laugh or two. Imagine one convenient portal thru which you can link to such vital entities as Granma, the organ of the Cuban Communist Party or to The Party for Liberation and Socialism magazine and of course to ANSWER (which is spelled wrong on the blogroll).

    Uh-oh, I also see he links to your site! Hijole!
    Ur just a few links below Prensa Latina, the Cuban news agency known to be a major employer of overseas state security agents. How cool!

    And, silly boy, there is no cult of personality in Venezuela! Hugo is happy to step down sometime during the middle of this century. He’s got 40 yrs more before he catches up with Fidel Castro who after 50 years still maintains no such cult. Deja de preocuparte, escualido gusano!

  68. Jose Merino Says:

    What I learned today is that if México and Venezuela had a child his name would be Porfirio Chávez.

  69. Randy Paul Says:

    Marc,

    I have a high STT (Sphincter Tolerance Threshold).

    As for Leftside/Av2ts’s comments re: Brazil, it’s amazing that a lefty/socialist extolling the virtues of Castro’s Cuba finds common cause with Citigroup to make a rather dilettantish point.

    FYI: Brazil has a far more diverse economy than many other nations in the region. Inflation is far less than that of Venezuela’s and is under control, has a very high trade surplus, with strong hard currency reserves, new oil discoveries with a state-run oil company far more efficient than PDVSA, a strong currency without artificial currency controls (ask Argentina about currency controls) and has improved its economy so significantly that immigrants who fled for greener pasturs are seeing greener pastures in Brazil.

    You also failed to notice this comment in the article to which you linked:

    Dennis reduced his rating on Brazilian stocks to “neutral” from “overweight,” saying the downgrade is a “trading call.” He maintained his year-end target for the Bovespa at 55,000 and kept his “bullish long-term view.”

    In other words, long-term, Brazil is in good shape. By all means, keep waxing rhapsodic about Castro and Chávez and the cult of personality

  70. DJ Slim Says:

    Actually, the UN Human Indicators report for 2008 ranks Cuba at 48 and Brazil at 70. (The lower the number, the better. Sweden, for example, is 7.) Read the country reports here:

    http://hdrstats.undp.org/2008/countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_SWE.html

    Just imagine if Cuba was not robbed of many economic possibilities by the US embargo. It would be even higher, I’m sure. Not high enough perhaps so that the average citizen could live like an American media whore, but quite high nonetheless.

  71. Randy Paul Says:

    Cuba is ranked 51st in overall HDI if one goes by individual countries. Costa Rica is ranked 48th, Uruguay, 46th, Argentina 38th, Chile 40th and in none of those countries are the citizens required to have exit visas to leave, limited as to what they can read, etc.

    Brazil, btw, is ahead of the BR Venezuela in the overall HDI.

  72. DJ Slim Says:

    I would say that Cuba’s proximity to some of Latin America’s most prosperous countries is of some significance, considering the difficulties it has to deal with. With respect to being limited to what they can read, I have to put up with my own problems here in the US with a corporate controlled press that prints all sorts of racist and warmongering bullshit. In the US you have the freedom to buy whichever newspaper you desire, but they range politically from the bad to worse. Of course, I wouldn’t expect this to matter to someone like Randy Paul who thinks that the corporate media in Venezuela had to be protected from Chavez rather than vice versa.

  73. Randy Paul Says:

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

  74. av2ts Says:

    Here is a comparision of how Latin American countries are expected to fare during the crisis. They conclude that: Brazil is the country most hit by the crisis, because it is the one most involved with the rest of the world. Venezuela’s situation, on the other hand, “is manageable,” though by no means is in the clear.

    Again, Venezuela has way more reseves per capita – $77 billion (26 million people) versus Brazil’s $200 billion (192 million people). Venezuela’s debt is only 9% of GDP. Brazil’s debt is 35% of GDP. Massively in debt is not where you want to be right now. Closely linked to the US is not where you want to be either.

  75. Marc Cooper Says:

    Randy, you might also mention that Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Argentina also have a right to habeas corpus, the right to defense in an independent judiciary, the right to read, watch, say AND publish what you please, the right to politically organize an opposition party, the right to organize an independent union, the right to collective bargaining, the right to STRIKE, the right to freely emigrate, the right to walk down the street and not be challenged to produce receipts for the boombox you are carrying, the right to call the president an asshole if you please, the right to freelyworship something other than a guy in an Olive Green uniform, and the right to be an 8 year old grammar school student and not forced into the mind-numbing humiliation of actually SINGING daily paeans to an octogenerian and most likely addled dictator. None of which exists in Cuba, be it rated 51, 71 or 4011.

    People like DJ Slim are precisley the same sort of automotan zombies that populate the desks of the Kafkaesque state ministries in Cuba , if not the guys who stood passively with clipboards to check the lines on the trains to Auschwitz.

    There’s plenty flawed about the American media (says this writer who for years wrote a press crit column called Newspeak). But to say that the New York Times and Wash Post for example range from bad to worse while implying that they are somehow equivalent or worse than literal toilet paper like Granma should in itself disqualify one from being taken seriously on any subject.

    I will say for the last time, you are dealing here with people who have a NEED, a psychological NEED to believe what is –to the naked eye– things that are not.

    DJ Slim, thank god you are but a muttering troll and hold no state power. I shudder to think how many people would be rotting in jail if you could snap ur fingers and put them there. What a dangerous mind [sic].

  76. Marc Cooper Says:

    AVT2S, that’s your last comment here. You bored me to death. Please go and obsess over on your own blog. We are going to set minimum moral standards here and you don’t reach the bar. Adios, compa.

  77. Marc Cooper Says:

    Hey Randy…

    I just noticed that DJ Slim has got a Columbia Univ IP address.

    Man, what a flood of thoughts that evokes….
    $35 grand a year down the tubes.. an Ivy league kid comfy in an elite university praising a system in which people eek by on ration cards and bartering eggs for razor blades… sort of nauseating, really.

    Maybe DJ should get off his comfy rear end and head down to Cuba for a couple of years and do some character building manual labor (without a union nor without having to be badgered by any real news in the newspaper, nor be distracted by legal access to the Internet or satellite tv) for around the current going wage of $25 a month. I vote, yes! DO I have a second?

  78. av2ts Says:

    Coward.

  79. Marc Cooper Says:

    Cowards are people who lack the courage to stand up for those who have no voice, for those who are oppressed, for those whose rights have been usurped. Cowards are those who cower behind dogma rather than face the possibility that their preconceptions and ideological constructions might be mistaken or even boldly contradicted by reality.

    On the other hand: Those who make apologies for the all-powerful, who stand with an unaccountable state against the individual and civil society, those who glibly cede the basic human rights of others while they bask in comfort and privilege, those who condone authoritarian rule in the name of expediency, those who justify the means by an illusory and utopian end, those who hold and maintain a double standard of upholding democracy where they live but excusing dictatorship when exercised against others, wel,… they are known at best as lackeys. At worst, as moral invertebrates. In courts of international law, they are known as collaborators.

    Which category best describes you?

    When you acquire and demonstrate one-tenth of the pure, unfiltered courage possessed by someone like Yoani Sanchez who is willing to defy an authoritarian regime (which has not hesitated to exercise arbitrary power against the innocent) armed with nothing more than a keyboard, then maybe you can lift your own head high enough to dare to call someone else a coward. In the meantime, the loyal followers of Granma and of the Living God Fidel await your insights and your links.

    I do not equate either Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez with Augusto Pinochet (though there are some if not too many uncomfortable overlaps –especially in the former case). But I don’t hesitate in saying that your knee-jerk defense of the indefensible is a perfect mirror image of those who supported Pinochet to the bitter end.

    I have no doubt we will see the same die-hard dogmatic defense from you as we saw from the Pinochetistas when the General finally got pinched. When the Cuban government eventually falls and it will be unarmed citizens on the street faced by rumbling tanks of the “Revolutionary Armed Forces” I have absolutely no doubt which side you will be on. From a safe distance of 3000 miles, of course. There is nothing that distinguishes you from the wingnut keyboard bombardiers who cheered the invasion of Iraq. Same crap. Different label.

  80. DJ Slim Says:

    I just noticed that DJ Slim has got a Columbia Univ IP address.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

    Ad hominem abusive

    Ad hominem abusive (also called argumentum ad personam) usually and most notoriously involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensibly damning character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.

    This tactic is frequently employed as a propaganda tool among politicians who are attempting to influence the voter base in their favor through an appeal to emotion rather than by logical means, especially when their own position is logically weaker than their opponent’s. Another example is calling conspiranoia to a conspiracy theory that one does not like.

    Examples:

    * “You can’t believe Jack when he says God exists because he doesn’t even have a job.”

    * “Candidate Jane Jones’s proposal X is ridiculous. She was caught cheating on her taxes in 2003.”

  81. DJ Slim Says:

    Randy, you might also mention that Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Argentina also have a right to habeas corpus, the right to defense in an independent judiciary, the right to read, watch, say AND publish what you please, the right to politically organize an opposition party…

    Who knows what these countries would do if after one of their civilian airplanes were blown up, the bomber was freed from an American jail. The US has curtailed the rights of many of its citizens for far less grievous offenses. Japanese-Americans, for example, were put in concentration camps during WWII simply because of their ethnicity. The problem with Cooper is that he has two yardsticks, one to measure things around the house and the other to use as propaganda cudgel against enemies singled out by the US State Department, the mainstream media, and Dissent Magazine.